Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into some or all areas of your business with the objectives of staying relevant in this digital age and riding the digital wave to create new business opportunities.

The digital age is characterised by:

  1. Cloud solutions and mobile applications enabled by the internet connecting millions of users. The chart below shows how the exponential speed of adoption with the internet:How long does it takes to reach 50 million users- Esther Goh Tok MuiThe internet connectivity and the instantaneous and direct communication made possible by mobile devices allows companies to ride on the power of crowds and communities to extend their product reach in unprecedented rate. Cloud solutions such as the QR code and mobile wallets are revolutionalising retail industry as consumers can make payment even while trying their clothes in the fitting room. The QR code is extensively demonstrated in the use of safe-entry and tracing during this Covid 19 period.
  2. Big data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that enable companies to acquire deeper insights into their customers and deliver greater value to customers. Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba and many of Google solutions are examples that leverage on data and machine learning.
  3. Emerging technologies such as the Drones, Driverless vehicles, Augmented Reality will change drastically the way services are delivered to customers and hence disrupt many industries.

Digital Transformation is about Reimagining How You Bring Value to Customers

Digital Transformation is more than enhancing efficiency. Digitization and digitalisation brought about greater efficiency through computer technologies. Whereas Digital Transformation is the infusing of digital technologies into your business in a coordinated effort that brings about impactful value for your customers and in turn unprecedented and meaningful outcome for your organisation.

With Big Data and emerging technologies such as Machine Learning, 3D Printing, Drones and many others, innovation and creating a new way of doing business is possible. Digital Transformation is asking the question “how can we leverage on Big Data and emerging technologies and reimage how we can bring value to customers?”

Companies must recognise that the transformation should focus on the customer. Before you embark on any transformation, the key question to ask is how much will your customers embrace this new product or this change? How will the adoption be? What value does it add to the customers? What pain-points can we solve for the customers? What are the unmet needs of the customers? How can technologies made possible today what was not possible yesterday. You may have questions on how much the transformation would cost and who to do what. However, you must note that the end question should also be about the customer–how can technologies enable us to delight and retain the customer?

Hence, to succeed in digital transformation, the key focus is the customer. Customers must be in the centre of your digital strategy.

Why are Companies Embarking on Digital Transformation?

The root of any change in business starts with customers. Delighting your customers is the solution to customer retention.

In this digital age, characterised by the enabling technologies of cloud, mobile devices and social media, it is possible to reach millions of users and disrupt an entire industry within a short period. WhatsApp is a clear example of how the telecommunication industry was seriously disrupted. Uber and Grab taxi are examples of disruption in the private transportation industry. Netflix is another example that disrupt the Television industry. All these companies present to the connected customers services that deliver greater value.

For this reason, companies can no longer stay complacent. Not only do they need to innovate, they need to leverage on Big Data and Cloud capabilities and think how they can bring greater value to their customers. If they do not reinvent, they risk being displaced by new entrants or competitors.